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Why Would You Want to Play the Viola?

Zlata Brouwer

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Published: October 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM [UTC]

Playing viola as an addition to playing the violin... or playing the viola instead the violin can have many advantages.

Why on earth would you want to play viola? Watch this video to find out.

BTW: I’m selling the very one hand made Czech viola I show you in the video for € 579 incl case and bow. If you are interested, just send me an e-mail:

Is this video useful to you? Please let me know in the comments!



PS: Do you have questions for me on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to

From Tom Holzman
Posted on October 29, 2013 at 6:04 PM
Zlata - thank you for posting this video. I am a fairly advanced violinist, and I plan to begin to learn viola early next year. I suspect I am not the only one on this site with such plans either in the near or intermediate future. Could you provide any tips on the appropriate strategy/steps to make this transition as easy and efficient as possible? How should one proceed in this endeavor in terms of starting out and progressing? Thanks.
From Mark Roberts
Posted on October 30, 2013 at 12:37 AM
play lots of easy pieces to get used to the clef and scales to get used to the different bow speed pressure...
From Mendy Smith
Posted on October 30, 2013 at 2:21 AM
As a violist that plays violin occasionally, start with early Suzuki book pieces that are available on both instruments. It is the easiest way to learn the clef and to get used to the strings being all shifted over one space :)

I will argue though that though viola parts seem easy in comparison to 1st violin parts in orchestra & ensemble music, they share the same difficulty as cello and 2nd violin parts without the advantage of having either a smaller instrument, or one that is more natural to hold. Its just a different set of challenges.

From Rosita Hopper
Posted on October 30, 2013 at 8:10 AM
Because violists lead from the middle!
From Zlata Brouwer
Posted on October 30, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Thanks for your response, Tom, I think there are already some great tips given. What is also a great exercise: write out violin pieces for viola (so one fifth down and to the other clef). In the future I plan to make a video about it, but to make it as good as possible I have to ask someone else as I rarely play the viola.

Great tip, Mark!

Thanks for your response, Mendy. You are right: finding books that exist for violin as well as viola is good. You can also use your violin books and write out a viola version. The exercise itself is very useful for getting used to the clef AND you save yourself some money on sheet music :).
And yes... viola certainly has different challenges! I’m asked a lot what is easier: violin, viola or cello? I think the one is not easier than the other, it’s just different.

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